It’s no secret that workplace accidents and injuries take a toll on companies. With each incident, an organization suffers legal impacts, financial loss, lowered employee morale, recruiting challenges, and damaged brand reputation. One effective way to minimize incidents is managing safety hazards by tracking “near misses,” or almost accidents” on site. No matter how insignificant these almost accidents, may seem, there are lessons to be learned through reporting these types of events. According to a case study conducted by OSHA and the National Safety Council, near-misses are generally the result of a faulty process or management system. By not reporting near-misses, you’re missing out on leading indicators of future risk and areas of improvement in your safety management. Taking a proactive approach to safety management is essential to keeping employees safer. Near-miss reporting gives you the visibility into hazards to make this approach possible.
Maybe you’ve noticed a spot on site where there’s no safety rail, or you saw someone slip on a wet floor on a rainy day. These are the types of incidents, or near misses, that can turn into something serious and can also be easily fixed before someone gets hurt.
Keeping track of near misses becomes easier and more efficient if it’s built into your workplace hazard reporting routine. Workers should be trained to identify potential hazards and risks when a near miss happens, and to record those near misses so that management has visibility into what is going on and can find solutions.
Here are four easy steps to follow to start taking a proactive approach to safety management by reporting near misses. They are:
- Develop a near-miss notification policy, procedure and form
- Get your employees on board
- Take steps towards building a safety culture
- Share learnings from near-miss investigations
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